GRASMERE — Staten Islanders are raising money to replace a sign outside a historic cemetery after it was damaged beyond repair last month.
Lynn Rogers, director of Friends of Abandoned Cemeteries of Staten Island, which maintains the grounds, recently found the sign snapped into two pieces and ripped off its poles outside the Old Clove Baptist Cemetery, at the corner of Richmond and Clove roads.
"We don't have the money to replace it," Rogers said of the organization, which maintains 11 cemeteries across the borough. "It's not in our budget for the next who knows how long."
At first, Rogers thought a car accidently broke the sign in half, but now she believes it was vandalism because workers who installed the sign said the cut was too clean to have been a mistake.
"I was really hoping that it was a car," Rogers said. "That was better for me than somebody taking a chainsaw and ax and cutting it."
Rogers did not report the damaged sign to the police because she said she didn't believe they could help.
After Rogers recently posted a picture of the damaged sign on the group's Facebook page, supporters have banded together to raise money to replace it. Several people have already donated, and the plea for help has been making the rounds on social media.
The historic cemetery opened in 1809, and only accepted burials until about the 1840s, Rogers said.
Rogers put up the sign outside the cemetery in 2008, and she said this was the first time anyone had damaged it.
"To vandalize it as badly as they did, it's unbelievable," she said. "To do that to a $1,000 sign for a poor organization like mine really stinks."